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Quote of the Day: Are the playoffs a crap shoot?

Sep 2, 2011, 2:30 PM EDT


Jon Heyman cuts to the heart of the playoffs:

While the playoffs aren’t really a crap shoot, as some suggest, almost anything can and will happen. Anyone who makes it has a legitimate shot, and that includes the Diamondbacks, who may be baseball’s best story this season.

As reader Michael K., who pointed this out to me says, “Umm, isn’t that the very definition of ‘crapshoot’?”

Heyman has the Phillies as the clear favorite to win it all, however. And my acknowledgment of the crapshoot nature of it all aside, if I had to pick one right now, I’d go with ’em too.

  1. larryhockett - Sep 2, 2011 at 2:38 PM

    Craig, why you hatin’ on the Phils again by picking them to be your clear favorite to win it all? You just had to “acknowledge the crapshoot nature of it all,” didn’t you? Stop baiting us!

    • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 2, 2011 at 2:44 PM

      Getting real old.

      • ditto65 - Sep 2, 2011 at 2:50 PM

        Sure, if you include the countless serious accusations with the sarcastic ones.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 2, 2011 at 2:56 PM

        I do. The whole thing is played out.

      • ditto65 - Sep 2, 2011 at 3:05 PM

        Very well. Agreed.

      • larryhockett - Sep 2, 2011 at 3:06 PM

        I get that you appear to spend all day, every day on this site but there are others who enjoy HBT just as much but occasionally have other tasks that take precedence like work and family. For those of us who aren’t in the “all day, every day” clique, please try to conceal your contempt.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 2, 2011 at 3:09 PM

        Talking to me buddy? I post in spurts…when work is slow. The implication of your statement is categorically wrong so maybe stop with unfounded assumptions. And if your means of enjoyment is sarcastic baiting of people…that is rather sad.

      • larryhockett - Sep 2, 2011 at 3:15 PM

        I don’t have any desire to engage in an internet chat board fight with you or anyone else. I asked that you try not to be so dismissive of posts by people who don’t frequent this board as much as you. If that inspires you to fight, buddy, then I am sorry and don’t have anything more to say about it.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 2, 2011 at 3:20 PM

        Not trying to fight either. Sorry if it came off that way. Also, I can’t keep track of who posts on here regularly or whatever….it is just that particular topic has been beat to death recently. I won’t say another word about it.

  2. nolanwiffle - Sep 2, 2011 at 2:42 PM

    If it really is a crap chute…I’d put Philly near the bottom.

    • philsgamer - Sep 2, 2011 at 2:56 PM

      Wait, I see what you did there…

      I’m a Phils fan and I found this pretty humorous

  3. theonlynolan - Sep 2, 2011 at 2:53 PM

    Take every team and start with a 12.5% chance they win it all. Then adjust up and down by a couple percentage points based on home field advantage, who the best regular season team was and which pitching match ups look favorable and you end up with the favorite at maybe 18% and the long shot at around 7%. Not a complete crap shoot and this is just a back of the envelope estimate but that sounds about right to me.

    • macjacmccoy - Sep 2, 2011 at 9:04 PM

      That actually would be a crap shoot because in craps some outcomes have higher odds of occurring then others. Like rolling a hard six is harder then rolling a seven. The DBacks are the Hard Six and the Phillies are the 7. So it really is a complete crap shoot.

  4. Marty - Sep 2, 2011 at 3:05 PM

    The Dbacks lead Philly in most team offensive stats. And we all know how well the Phills pitching does against the west in the post season. Add Cliff Lee’s choke risk, and I call this blackjack, and AZ is the house.

    • pizzi7404 - Sep 2, 2011 at 3:20 PM

      Hmmm usually I don’t bite on these statements but what the heck….so beating the Rockies and the Dodgers on the way to back to back World Series apperances means the Phillies suck against the West in the post season….interesting. Yeah I know what happened last year and give Giants credit but hey you have fun with thinking Arizona has a chance….it is nice to have hope.

      Oh and I do believe they split with the Diamonbacks this year so no real advantage either way there.

    • everybodyhitswoohoo - Sep 2, 2011 at 5:32 PM

      There’s an alarming amount of wrong in this comment.

      “The Dbacks lead Philly in most team offensive stats.”

      Phillies: 4.54 runs per game, Diamondbacks: 4.46 runs per game.

      Most offensive stats other than, y’know…runs. And OBP, for those who are curious. The D’Backs have a .05 lead in OPS and a lead in some counting stats that can at least somewhat be accounted for the fact that they’ve played four more games than the Phillies.

      And bear in mind that these are stats for the whole year, including the two months that the Phillies were without Chase. They’ve scored the most runs per game in the NL ever since Chase came back, and that margin has widened significantly since Pence arrived. I’ll go advantage Phillies on this one.

      “And we all know how well the Phills pitching does against the west in the post season.”

      Are you referring to that one series against the Giants last year? The one where the Phillies held them to 19 runs in 6 games? I wasn’t under the impression that 3.17 runs per game was bad pitching, which you seem to be inferring here.

      But if you want to go back through 2008, we can. Between the 2008 NLCS, 2009 NLDS and NLCS, and 2010 NLCS, the Phillies have allowed an average of 3.5 runs per game against NL West teams. By comparison, that would rank fifth in baseball this year in team ERA–in a year where pitching is better than it’s been in any of the last few–and that’s before you even adjust the Phillies’ number from total RA to ERA, which I don’t quite care to do because I think the point is still fairly clear.

      You’d have to go back to 2007 to find a time an NL West team beat up on the Phillies pitching, and the only members of that staff that are on this one were a rookie Cole Hamels, a Ryan Madson not having nearly the year he is now, and Kyle Kendrick, who will almost definitely not be on this year’s postseason roster.

      “Add Cliff Lee’s choke risk”

      You’re pretty blatantly baiting Phillies fans at this point, but I’ll bite. Cliff Lee has a career postseason line of 7-2 with an ERA of 2.13 and K/BB ratio of 10 (and, for the sabermetrically inclined, a FIP/SIERA of 1.68/2.22). That’s insane. He had all of zero career postseason losses before the WS last year, had ONE bad game in the postseason (one in which he had terrible BABIP luck, at that), and then was pitching fine in the next game before a 7th inning home run. This is after he allowed 2 ER in 24 IP in the three games beforehand against the Rays and Yankees.

      What a choker.

      “and I call this blackjack, and AZ is the house.”

      The playoffs are unquestionably, to at least some extent, a crapshoot. The best teams have a slightly better chance than the others, but even this year, when the Phillies, Red Sox, and Yankees are head and shoulders above the rest of baseball, you’d still probably be facing near-even odds if you had the chance to bet on “one of those three” or “the rest of the field”.And the way the Phillies have dominated the NL this year, I wouldn’t even call THEM “the house” in the playoffs.

      With that in mind, and acknowledging that the Diamondbacks or anyone else in the playoffs absolutely could win a series against the Phillies…giving the title of “the house” to anyone else in the NL–let alone the team with the 4th best record in the league–is absolutely ridiculous.

    • xmatt0926x - Sep 2, 2011 at 7:58 PM

      I’m not the type of fan who needs to beat my teams drums constantly but I have to defend the Phillies chances against the Diamondbacks. I’m sorry. I must be missing something. The Phillies just recently played the Diamondbacks and the Braves did as well. I watched both series extensively and I just didn’t see anything too impressive with the Diamondbacks. I don’t think Braves fans saw too much to worry about either. I’m really not saying this to be a troll. They just seem to be in that category of “nice little team” but not much more than that. The playoffs are indeed a crapshoot and maybe the Diamondbacks catch fire and can get to the world series but I think most honest fans would rate their chances the worst of the 4 playoff teams in the national league.

  5. SmackSaw - Sep 2, 2011 at 3:06 PM

    The Giants last year is proof that it’s a crapshoot.

    • clydeserra - Sep 2, 2011 at 5:34 PM

      Lots of teams really. The 01 mariners, the 06 cards, the Rockies in the world series in 07, the marlins in 03.

      The list is endless of inferior teams that make it farther into the playoffs if not winning it.

      Bear in mind that the Giants last year only won one more game than the Wild Card Braves

  6. cakrywyj - Sep 2, 2011 at 3:22 PM

    I’d compare offensive stats of Philly and Arizona post trade deadline instead of since game 1… You’d get a more accurate view of what a post season matchup would look like, I think. Either way, if the playoffs are a crapshoot.. So be it. However, I’d feel much more comfortable with my odds going into said crapshoot with Halladay, Lee and Hamels.

    • macjacmccoy - Sep 2, 2011 at 9:12 PM

      I dont get how Philly fans in general can keep just throwing out the names of Halladay Lee and Hamels as our post season rotation. Where have you guys been the last 4 years? Charly does not go with a 3 man rotation he just doesnt. He would rather pitch Pedro Martinez then Cliff Lee on 2 days rest. or Joe Blanton then Halladay on 2 days rest. The Phillies will be going with a 4 man rotation in the playoffs.

      You all just need to come to terms with the fact that Oswalt or Worley will be pitching game 4’s for the Phillies.

  7. sdelmonte - Sep 2, 2011 at 3:44 PM

    It’s not a crap shoot in that we’ve only seen four wild card teams win it all (and I don’t think that the ’04 Bosox were exactly a shocker, comeback aside). Anything can happen, but most of the time it still follows some sort of form. Compare this with football, which is seeing a lot more success by wild card teams, and hockey, where it’s not uncommon for lower seeds to pull upsets.

    Right now, if my choice was Phils vs. the field, I’d go with the Phils. But the Brewers really look good to me, and the hi-octane bats (and utter patience) of the AL East Two will not go away quietly.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 2, 2011 at 4:00 PM

      If my bettig choice was the Phillis vs the Field, even I would pick the field…and I am the biggest Phillies fan around.

    • Kevin S. - Sep 2, 2011 at 4:10 PM

      Given that the Wild Card has been around sixteen years, assuming complete randomness in the outcomes and the wild card teams winning four WS titles is exactly what we’d expect. Further, five other wild card teams have won the pennant in that time frame. The success of the wild card teams would tend to support the idea that the playoffs are a crap shoot, not refute it.

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